done grading so now I can talk about this more
this is good encapsulation of how individuality is a nonsense concept, in both the material and social sense
materially you have a system of transportation chosen by the gov't in DC, who decided over the course of the 20th century to base their public transport on the automobile, saving rail line for freight instead. roads are just another form of public transport because they are built by the government to transport the public. it's just that we have to buy a car in order to do it (and subsidize the car industry) and good luck if you want to do anything else.
but since you drive the car, it is seen as an aspect of freedom and choice, except for the fact that 1) nearly everyone needs a car, 2) you can only drive it on roads that go to specific locations, 3) you are looked on poorly if you cannot afford or reject the use of cars in favor of proper public transport. It's US individualism in which we always end up doing the same thing
this is also a good example of the structure-superstructure concept, in which the structure (the building of roads to facilitate transportation via the use of cars) helps create and support an ideological system (people in the US value and perpetuate individualism, a useful concept for the US style of settler capitalism)
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